Dalit and Adivasi students prepare to fight: National Dalit and Adivasi Students' Parliament

Note on the

National Dalit and Adivasi Students' Parliament

to be held on 9th December, 2013, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

~

Abhay Xaxa, Prachi R Beula and Babita Negi

In the words of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, education is milk of the lioness which will empower everyone who drinks it. History stands witness to the fact that education has been used as a weapon of oppression by the Brahmanical forces to enslave the Dalits and Adivasi communities by denying them fundamental human rights and thereby pushed them to the margins of socio-economic development.

dalit adivasi chhatra sammelan

ऐ दोस्त !
सिमटे से हुए शिक्षा के इस दायरे के
अंदर-बाहर
हाशिये पर धकेल दी गईं तुम्हारी चाहतें, ज़रूरतें
कौन कौन से फ़र्ज़ी कलंकों का
जाने कब से - जैसे
जुर्माना अदा कर रही हैं!

तुम्हारी इज़ज़त
तुम्हारे अधिकारों का फ़लसफ़ा
जाने कितने वेदों की साजिशी इबारतों तले
जाने कब से कसमसा रहा है

जिस शिक्षा ने
फैलना था तुम्हारे जीवन में
पहुंचना था ज़हन की कोशिकाओं में
शादाब इक मंज़र लिए
जिन संसाधनों पर
कुदरती-मौलिक तुम्हारे हक़ो-हुक़ूक़ के साथ
लिखी जानी थी
तुम्हारे भी
मनुष्य होने की इबारत
सब कुछ तो जैसे, आज भी
ख़तरनाक़ तौर पर, वीरान है

प्राकृतिक तो छोड़ो......
तुम्हारे कानूनी अधिकारों को उन्होंने
रियायतों के रंग में रंग दिया है
छात्रवृतियों में सेंध लगा रखी है
बहुतेरे छात्रवास कागज़ों में ज़िंदा हैं
और जो हैं भी दरअसल
उनमें और कब्रिस्तान के सन्नाटों में
क्या फर्क है बता दोस्त !!
कल का एक अदद भविष्य
हमारे आज के ज़हन की पोटली में
क्या रखा है, देख रहा है
टटोल रहा है

देख रहा है हमारी ओर
और क्या हम
आने वाली अपनी पुश्तों के
पैरों में
देखना चाहते हैं
यथा-स्थिति वाला वही सफ़र
मजबूरियों के अन्धकार में ढला
ऊबड़ खाबड़ ?

उनके पैर
छालों भरे तलवों के साथ ??

ऐ दोस्त, जो सूरते-हाल ये है
क्यूँ न अपने ज़हन का आज
मंज़र बदल दें
एक कदम आगे बढ़ें
इक साथ हम - और कह दें
हाँ ! शिक्षा, संसाधनों और सभी
सवैधानिक हक़ों समेत
इस मुल्क की हिस्सेदारी में
मेरे हिस्से का मुल्क
अब मेरा है
और अपना हक़ हम ले के रहेंगे !

कि ज़िन्दगी कोई सस्ती शै नहीं होती !!

ऐ मेरे युवा दलित-आदिवासी दोस्त
तुम्हें भी क्या यही लगता है ??

~ Gurinder Azad.

From Ekalavya to Balmukund Bharti, Anil Kumar Meena and just now, Madari Venkatesh, history is full of discrimination towards Dalit and Adivasi students. On the other hand Dalit and Adivasi communities have used education as an instrument to assert their dignity and rights. The two communities have understood the importance of education for their path to development. Perhaps, therefore, the Dalit and Adivasi communities have a strong desire for education. The testimony of this fact can be seen in the increasing number of SC/ST students' enrolment in primary education, increasing literacy level among the two communities and their presence in higher education. The will power for education among SC/ST students has always emerged as a challenge to casteist mentality which considers SC/ST students as a threat to the Brahmanical supremacy.

Read more...

Slips between the cup and the lip: The sorry state of reservation in Central Universities

 

Hany Babu M.T.

A massive recruitment exercise is just about to get under way at the University of Delhi. The University has recently advertized for 665 teaching positions with the break up as follows: Professor: 99, Associate Professor: 206, and Assistant Professor: 360. This round of recruitment, however, raises a grave concern with respect to the implementation of reservation in general and OBC reservation in particular. What is most paradoxical is that this round of recruitment is taking place after the University has finally conceded to two longstanding demands: (1) the implementation of reservation in the Professor and Associate Professor posts and (2) the implementation of the 200-point roster taking the college and the postgraduate departments (as the case may be) as a single unit. However, living up to its notorious reputation with respect to the implementation of reservation, the University is all set to violate all norms, thereby depriving the reserved categories of thousands of posts.

Apart from the current state of reservation in the teaching positions at the University of Delhi, this paper also looks at the larger picture of OBC reservation in the teaching faculty positions and identifies two factors that have colluded to deny OBCs their rightful share in the recruitment of teaching faculty. Firstly, though the Central Government implemented OBC reservation in 1993, Central Universities adopted OBC reservation in teaching positions only in 2007. There has so far been no attempt to take into account the consequent shortfall in OBC reservation. Secondly, the brahminical forces have conspired to deprive reservation for OBC in the posts of Associate Professor and Professor. This means that OBCs are deprived an equal chance to move upward in the academic hierarchy, which would, among other things, also deprive them adequate representation in the decision making bodies, as OBCs are very scantily represented in the higher positions in the academic echelons.

Read more...

A sure way to produce Dalit dropouts

 

Udit Raj & Hany Babu

The article in The Hindu by Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, on the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) in the University of Delhi (Op-Ed, "Drop the rhetoric, start the debate," June 1, 2013) raises certain important issues.

du multiple exit points

The multiple exit points could become traps for students who are less privileged. Photo: Meeta Ahlawat

Mr. Tharoor, like most of the mainstream media in India, seems to be unaware of the arguments that are currently being made in opposition to the FYUP. The issue is no more confined to course structure or syllabi. Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class (SC/ST/OBC) groups have advocated caution on the potential of the new programme to make the reservation policy mandated by the Constitution nugatory, as a large number of students from SC/ST/OBC groups may not be able to complete four years of education. The multiple exit points may become death traps for these students. In spite of the claims made by the university that every student can do a four-year honours degree in the new scheme, the percentage of reserved category students will dwindle in the third and fourth years. They will exit with unequal degrees, the equalising force of education will be lost, and the social stratification will be further hardened.

Read more...

Caste-based discrimination a major structural factor underlying poverty: UN

 

media-statement

Continued plight of the 'untouchables'

UN experts call for strengthened protection of more than 260 million victims of caste-based discrimination

GENEVA (24 May 2013) – They occupy the lowest levels of strict, hierarchical caste systems founded on notions of purity, pollution and inequality. They face marginalization, social and economic exclusion, segregation in housing, limited access to basic services including water and sanitation and employment, enforcement of certain types of menial jobs, and working conditions similar to slavery.

They are the Dalits of South Asia, who constitute the majority of victims of entrenched caste-based discrimination systems which affect some 260 million stigmatized people worldwide, people considered 'untouchable'.

"Caste-based discrimination remains widespread and deeply rooted, its victims face structural discrimination, marginalization and systematic exclusion, and the level of impunity is very high," a group of United Nations human rights experts warned today, while urging world Governments to strengthen protection of the hundreds of millions of people across the globe who suffer from discrimination based on work and descent.

Read more...

Dalit women on intersections of violence and discrimination at the Human Rights Council

Dalit women on intersections of violence and discrimination at HRC 23 in the UN

~

Side event at the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council
 

"Dalit Women: Working Together Towards The Elimination Of
Multiple And Intersecting Forms Of Discrimination And Violence
Based On Gender And Caste"

On 4 June 2013, 14:30-16:30, Room VIII, 3rd floor

This event offers a unique opportunity to explore the cross-cutting and intersecting nature and forms of gender and castebased
discrimination and to discuss what the international community can do to effectively address this entrenched problem.

Read more...

European Parliament adopts historic resolution on Dalits

 

International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) Press release

A strongly worded resolution on caste discrimination in India was debated and adopted today by the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Parliament condemned the high number of atrocities committed against Dalits in India and the Indian government's insufficient action on the issue of caste discrimination.

Copenhagen (IDSN), 13 December 2012 -- The European Parliament (EP) today sent a strong message of solidarity to millions of victims of caste discrimination in India and urged the country's authorities to live up to their pledges to end this serious human rights problem and ensure protection of Dalits and other vulnerable groups.

While acknowledging that significant work had already been done to eradicate caste discrimination in India, the EP expressed its deep concern over the continued human rights violations against Dalits; condemned the high number of atrocities committed against them; and deplored the non-intervention by state actors such as the police in acts of communal violence against Dalits.

Expressing its deep concern about the inhuman practice of manual scavenging, the EP urged the Government of India to amend and enforce the law banning this practice.

Read more...

Demand for an open PhD admission notification in University of Hyderabad

 

Letter (dated 8th November, 2012) from the 'Joint Action Committee for the Protection of Reservation' to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad

[Via Arun Asokan]

(Please read this article 'Non-Implementation of Reservation policy in University of Hyderabad: A Report' published on 27th November, 2012, for comprehensive information on the implementation of quotas in the university)

~

To
Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
The Vice-Chancellor Hyderabad
University of Hyderabad

Respected Sir,

Sub: Request to announce an open PhD admission notice in the month of December, reg.

With reference to the letter, addressed to the VC by the Students' Union 2011-2012 (Dt. 22-08-2012) which brought to our notice the lapses designed in the implementation of reservation policy at University of Hyderabad for the academic year 2012-13; we would like to state that there has been a serious deterrent and foul play in implementing the constitutional guarantee for higher education to the depressed classes namely SC/ST/OBC/PH/DP/North-Eastern states and Union Territories Quota.

Read more...

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